After eating my weight in cupcakes, I don’t know how I can possibly fit anything else into my stomach but it feels as though I’ve suddenly swallowed an entire net of butterflies. It’s not uncommon this fluttery, swirly, churning almost-throw-up feeling, one of many symptoms of my anxiety.
I get it when I’m meeting new people, when I’m running late to an appointment, making phone calls, folding towels, walking into the pharmacy, during my son’s bedtime routine, recalling a text I had with a friend “She hasn’t texted me back. I think she hates me.”, and the list of triggers goes on and on.
In this moment, there is nothing menacing about cozying up to my son and inhaling the sweet scent of the honeydew melon shampoo in his damp hair yet I feel sick and crawly and uncomfortable and I need to move. I know that I’m not in immediate danger, unless there is such a thing as gun toting lice and he acquired it from one of his dirty friends at school, so there is no bloody reason for this inner dribble of unease.
That is why anxiety is so incredibly frustrating – you can have it simply just because.
I take 30 belly breaths, no more and no less to calm the butterflies when I hear giggling. The touch of his sticky fingers startles me.
“It’s ok Momma, just keep your breathing. I’ll do it too, ” he says as he dramatically inhales, expanding his belly and then sprays saliva through his pursed lips on exhalation. “My tummy hurts too. I think we ate too many cupcakes today.”
It pains me that he sees this side of me – that I wasn’t more careful at hiding it from him – but I’m thankful that he thinks it’s nothing more than a case of being sugar wasted.
He laughs, reaches over and puts my head on his shoulder. I watch as he goes back to rhythmically tapping on the iPad and I focus in on his stubby toes curling with each anticipated move of the character in the game.
Even though anxiety is yelling at me to to do something – anything because I’m in some sort of danger, I know it’s mistaken.
It’s mistaken because I’m all right right now with him.
PS….I’m in this book. The Bloggess read it!
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